The Maine Libertarian Party has become the first group to comply with the 2013 law that says if a group wants to qualify as a political party, it must notify the state in December of an even-numbered year. Such a group then has a year to obtain 5,000 registered members.
It is not clear if individuals who registered “Libertarian” long ago, when the party was ballot-qualified in the past, will count. The Libertarian Party was a qualified party in Maine during 1992, and chances are there are some voters who registered “Libertarian” back then, and who have never re-registered. Chances are, Maine election officials won’t go to the bother of finding such individuals, because they have been coded as independent voters in the computerized records. However, certain other states do “revive” such registrations when parties go off the ballot and then return, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
There were 1,048 registered Libertarians in Maine at the end of 1992.
If any other group also wishes to file this month, the deadline is December 30, not December 31; and the application requires the signatures of at least ten voters who are not registered members of any of the three qualified parties (Democratic, Republican, and Green). It seems likely that if the deadline for filing the notice of intent to qualify were challenged in court, it would be overturned; there seems to be no state interest in specifiying only one particular month for filing such a notice.